Plans Set For Rachel Alexandra
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The prospective field for the May 16 Preakness (gr. I) received a
boost in star power when assistant trainer Scott Blasi informed
Maryland Jockey Club director of horsemen’s relations Phoebe Hayes
that Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra is scheduled to fly
to Baltimore May 13 for the May 16 $1 million classic. A decision on
whether she actually gets on the plane will not be made until the
The Maryland Jockey Club expects a field of 13 for the 1 3/16th mile
Preakness at Pimlico Race Course after Laurel Park-based trainer
William Komlo announced that Tone It Down will run, while Hall of
Famer Shug McGaughey told the Maryland Jockey Club that Conservative
“We are excited at the prospect of seeing the first four finishers
from the Kentucky Derby and the superstar filly in the Preakness,”
said Maryland Jockey Club president and chief operating officer Tom
Chuckas. “We could be looking at one for the ages.”
Rachel Alexandra, who won the May 1 Oaks by a record 20 1/4 lengths,
was purchased earlier this week by Jess Jackson of Stonestreet Stables
and Harold McCormick from L and M Partners, and transferred from the
barn of Hal Wiggins to that of Steve Asmussen. Asmussen trained 2007
Preakness winner Curlin for a partnership that included Stonestreet.
“If she continues to be in perfect condition,” Jackson said in a
statement yesterday, “our intention will be to run her in the
A Stonestreet spokeswoman said May 9 that no decision has been made to
run Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness and a final decision would not
happen until after the filly works, which will happen at Churchill
Downs May 10 or 11.
Rachel Alexandra is not nominated to the Triple Crown and can only get
into the middle jewel of the Triple Crown if less than 14
pre-nominated horses are entered and her connections pay a $100,000
supplementary nomination fee.
Pimlico oddsmaker Frank Carulli confirmed that he would make Rachel
Alexandra the morning line favorite.
The $64,000 question for trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley is, “who is
going to ride Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird in the Preakness?”
“Calvin Borel will be on the (entry) card,” Woolley said May 9 at
Churchill Downs. “I do have a backup, but I am not ready to release
Industry sources say among those being considered are Hall of Famer
Mike Smith, a New Mexico native like Woolley and owners Mark Allen and
Leonard Blach, who won the 1993 Preakness aboard Prairie Bayou, and
Chantal Sutherland, who rode the gelding four times as a 2-year-old,
winning three stakes at Woodbine.
With a sloppy track greeting Mine That Bird for a third consecutive
day, Woolley altered the morning exercise program from two trips
around the track to a back-track to the paddock runway and then had
him gallop once around with exercise rider Charlie Figueroa up.
The son of Birdstone will leave Louisville via van May 12 and arrive
at Pimlico sometime after the afternoon rush hour.